While in McCall, Idaho last weekend visiting family, I took time to visit the Central Idaho Historical Museum. Primarily searching for any old photograph’s of John & Charlie’s early blacksmith shop/garage there, I was given a biography of Ben & Stella Johnson as remembered by their daughter Ione. Stella was Jessie Peterson’s sister.
Included in the 17 pages was the following paragraph, which I have included in the website in the page entitled, “Idaho Years of P&C Tools”. The account reveals an interesting side business that Charlie and John engaged in…the first Ford dealership in McCall.
“Uncle John had become a dealer for Ford’s Model T cars in 1917, so when Ben returned to McCall in April of that year, he took-a job as a salesman for John. He skied down the Valley, over the fence posts, going to all the farms. In one day, so the story goes, Ben sold fifty Model T Fords. When the cars arrived by train, Ben had to learn to drive them so he could teach the new owners. The cars had to be partially assembled by Peterson and Carlburg at the Dealership Garage and they had to invent tools for that purpose. Thus was born the P and C Tool Company that later on moved production to Milwaukee, Oregon.”
I’m not entirely sure John & Charlie invented tools just for assembling the Model T’s but that very well could have been part of the equation.
Shrewd planning. Revenue from the sale of Model T’s would have been nice, but ongoing maintenance and repair would have kept them in business for awhile…especially with Model T’s!